Apple Launches iTunes in 56 New Countries

MOSCOW–Apple Inc. (AAPL) expanded its signature iTunes Store into 56 additional countries Tuesday, including Russia, India, South Africa and Turkey, nearly doubling its geographical reach.

Music lovers will be able to choose from 20 million songs, including those from many artists popular in individual countries as well as songs by international stars, the company said.

Movies and television series will also be available for rent and purchase inRussia, Turkey, India and Indonesia, with availability in other countries being added soon.

The expansion brings the iTunes Store to 119 countries. The company’s App Store is available in 155 countries.

There are an estimated 137 million Internet users in India, 68 million in Russia, 36.5 million in Turkey and 8.5 million in South Africa, according to Internet World Stats.

Pricing will vary from country to country–with a single song costing 15 rubles (48 cents) in Russia, and seven rupees (12 cents) in India. Purchases will require a valid credit card with a billing address in the country where the transaction occurs.

Originally Apple had planned to launch iTunes in Russia in November but couldn’t agree with all the intellectual property rights owners, two of Apple’s partners told Russian business daily newspaper Vedomosti.

Two employees of music labels also told the paper that this problem hasn’t quite been resolved yet and that iTunes won’t be launched to its full capacity.

Write to Olga Razumovskaya at [email protected]

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